Apparently we humans are not getting enough sleep.
I’m getting a lot of requests to do posts on getting adequate sleep (most of which I turn down – this is not a sleep blog) and I am seeing a lot of articles coming across my Facebook feed or in my inbox on the importance of sleep.
I think we all can agree that sleep is important.
Sometimes, my curiosity gets the best of me and I have a look to make sure we are still doing everything wrong.
To start with we eat late…. we have for years and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Instead of having a big meal at 6:00 then a big bowl of ice cream just before bed we have a lighter meal late and skip the ice cream.
But for this list we’re not too bad: yes to tomato sauce, no to fatty foods and spicy foods, yes to chicken and no to chocolate. (I eat my daily chocolate much earlier.)
Luckily neither one of us has a hard time sleeping. If you do, maybe some of these tips will help,
5 Foods That Can Hinder You from Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Could your midnight snacks be damaging the quality of your sleep?
We all know that we need plenty of quality sleep to help us be productive and efficient in our day-to-day tasks, but did you know that eating the wrong foods before bed could keep you awake?
While having a light bowl of soup before you sleep could help you to relax, other foods will keep you awake if it has excess sugar, caffeine, and even heavy proteins that stop your stomach from settling.
So which snacks should you avoid if you’re hoping for a peaceful night in bed? We’ve created this list of the top five foods that stop you from getting a pleasant night of slumber.
1. Anything with Tomato Sauce
You might assume that any food with vegetables in it is great for your health. While that might be true if you consume them throughout the day, veggies like tomatoes can be more likely to keep you awake when eaten before bed. Because of the high acidity in tomato sauces, it can often cause problems like indigestion and heartburn that can keep you awake.
While you can definitely eat tomato-based foods for your dinner, it’s best to stop eating this acidic fruit around 3 hours before you go to bed. Sauces that are mixed with other acidic substances like vinegar are particularly problematic as well.
2. Fatty Foods like Bacon Cheeseburger
Most experts suggest that bacon cheeseburgers are some of the worst foods you can eat before going to bed at night. However, the truth is that any meal with such a significant fat content is going to keep you awake. That’s because high levels of fat in your food stimulate the production of acid in the stomach, which spills into the esophagus and causes heartburn. Foods too full of fat can also weaken the barrier between the esophagus and the stomach, causing acid reflux.
Even if you’re feeling very hungry before you go to bed, it’s best to avoid any snacks that are particularly high in fat – just in case.
3. Spicy Foods like Curry
Curries might be a delicious meal to have when you’re hungry at dinner time, but they’re not ideal for when you need a late-night snack. The heavy spices in curries and other hot foods are likely to keep you awake during the night by playing havoc with your digestion. The more spices you have in your food, the more you’ll suffer during the night.
Sticking to a less flavorful option might not seem like much fun, but it will definitely save you a lot of trouble if you don’t want to suffer from indigestion and heartburn.
Chicken might be one of the most common foods on the market for meat-eaters, but it’s not going to do you any favors when you’re trying to get to sleep at night. In fact, any kind of protein isn’t going to be good for you when you’re trying to sleep. When we start to drift off into our slumber, our digestion functions usually drops. However, if you eat a lot of protein, you’ll digest more slowly.
This means that instead of focusing on sleeping and all the recovery that happens when you’re asleep, your body is concentrating on digesting instead.
Finally, as much as you might crave a nice bar of chocolate before bed, this late-night snack could be the cause of your insomnia issues. Like coffee, dark chocolate contains a small dose of caffeine, which increases your arousal levels and stops your body from shutting down for sleep. Different chocolate bars have different levels of caffeine in them, but they’re all likely to keep you more awake with a dose of sugar – even if they’re low on caffeine. Stick to healthier options if you’re eager for some food before bed like a banana or a handful of tart cherries.
While going to bed with a rumbling stomach might not sound like a lot of fun, hitting the sack with the wrong food in your stomach can cause a lot of problems with your digestion. Make sure that you avoid the five foods above when you need a good night’s sleep.